Game Informer Online FragFest 2012: You don't want to miss this one... - eyros2k Blog - www.GameInformer.com
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Game Informer Online FragFest 2012: You don't want to miss this one...

The blog below was drafted on January 29th, but was never published. This is my grand vision of the future for FragFest, but I had some second thoughts on the eve of making this announcement.

In the weeks that followed I took an extended break from not just GI, but life in general. Critical perspective was gained over a short span of time, but I've been back on GIO for some time now, and since returning FragFest has remained on the back burner. I still have a desire to make this plan or some derivative of it a reality... but what I need before moving forward, is feedback.

Please read on, provide feedback and let's find a way to reboot FragFest together.


 

FRAGFEST 2012: NEW YEAR, NEW GAME-PLAN!


Greetings one and all, welcome to the relaunch of GIO FragFest!

2011 was a huge year for the group; with 18 different games highlighted over 15 hosted events, FragFest had plenty of coal in the burner. Group membership exploded to over 180 members, and the anticipation before major events was often palpable. On paper things seemed all sunshine and rainbows, but through all the event coordination and group expansion, Warbuff the other event coordinators and myself learned a lot, as far as generally what works and what doesn't for our little collective of gamers. I'd like to give everyone a little insight into how I arrived at this new blueprint before laying it all out..

First, multi-platform events don't seem to work out; With several of the 2011 hosted events on the PS3 side being canceled outright due to lack of interest, others simply fell through when parties failed to form in a timely manner. The PC crowd has had it's struggles as well, although they have become decidedly more focused thanks to the efforts of members Dede and Conman315 bringing the Steam group up and running... but despite a 190+ membership in the group, attendance for PC events still have a tendency to stagnate. While it would be much easier to simply embrace the success of the 360 events and turn the focus of the group as a whole into a 360 club, I have not given up hope on the others yet...

Second, even confirmed attendance doesn't always pan out; Plans change, people forget, heck sometimes they might even be online playing a different game and simply choose to ignore group invites. Despite clear announcements on scheduling and weeks of advance notice, it is commonplace to have community members not show up after signing up. I can't/won't begrudge anyone for this; in the grand scheme of things, showing up to a recreational online gaming event is a trivial matter. However, be that as it may, many of us get totally psyched up for these kind of things and it kills me to see players who clear their schedule for an event essentially get stood up by their fellow community members...

Third, cat wrangling is a lot of work; I still remember when Saint used that term to describe the underlying work of coordinating FragFest. I knew to keep things running relatively smoothly would require a lot of my own free-time, but I remained ambitious. As the months passed and members poured in, I started to feel the heat. Community input floods in during every stage of event coordination; preliminary gauging to see which games would make the best choices for the monthly poll, drafting the advertising threads/blogs/articles to announce the winners, compiling attendance sheets from comments on previously mentioned posts (as well as conversations, profile comments, messages sent via XBL or PSN etc), eventually leading up to the actual event group management, and finally the wrap-up posts and often putting together highlight reels. Before I had time to think about it I was neck deep, even after drafting Warbuff to the cause. Both of us eventually felt overwhelmed, and steadily began having less fun as the pressure mounted... not just with matters related to FragFest, but even our own free time in general...

I will be honest, as I mulled over these issues I considered throwing in the towel. It really does go against better judgement to continue to allow that which is supposed to be recreation rooted in camaraderie effect your overall disposition... but I know it doesn't have to be this taxing on the individual. I resolved to simply turn away from it all during the holiday off-season, clear my mental palette so to say, then make a final decision by the end of January...

Then some time a few weeks ago it came to me in a fevered dream - well it was actually during my morning commute, but the profoundness of the visions may as well have come from a more mystical place of consciousness. Iterations eventually began to circle around to a central theme and after a bit of brainstorming with Warbuff, he let me know I was... actually still insane, but I am proceeding with this plan anyway! Let us know what you think.

FragFest 2012 Tenets

| Community | Challenge | Incentive | Bragging Rights |

While community has always been the absolute core of the group ideal and bragging rights were part of the equation through highlight reels and wrap-up blogs, bringing in the components of directed challenges and incentive for completing them seemed like a logical step; however logical isn't always practical. Many, if not most gamers have an innate desire to be constantly challenged and subsequently rewarded. Xbox Live achievements and Gamerscore, Playstation Network Trophies, Steam achievements... despite there being no real incentive for completing the challenges associated with these scores, millions of gamers are driven by them. With that in mind, FragFest Challenges were born, but we'll come back to that in a minute...

The biggest issue with extending a challenge, is offering incentive to do so; While gamerscore, trophies and achievements have the luxury of being part of a massive network infrastructure already in place, I realize simply offering up a running list of your unique accolades within our community may not be enough. Listen up as we break it all down...

~INSERT CUSTOM ART~

FragFest Challenges will be posted once every month by the group moderators (addition positions now open), with each month bringing a new set of game titles and challenges to the table.

Gone is the focus on a single title or single event for an entire month; offering up a wider variety of game genres, mixing in any hot multiplayer demos of the month as well as giving offerings from both retail and downloadable releases. Now you not only can pick your poison, but when and how you'd like to take it. Titles and challenges chosen will all be unique in nature and payout amount, but one thing they will all have in common is the necessity for other community members to be with you. We hope that this new wide open format (in conjunction with the incentives detailed below) will solve most of the problems we've had in one fell swoop. Community members wishing to connect for Challenges will have the means to do so by simply posting to the appropriate thread within the new, separated, FragFest Challenges Forum. Instances of getting groups together for Challenges will come together only at the ambition of the community itself, taking the weight of group coordination off the shoulder of the moderators.

For those who did enjoy the monthly event format, rest assured that has not gone away entirely. The Main Event will be clearly highlighted within each months Challenge posting, wherein a single one of the multiple titles from that month will be chosen by the group moderators for a specific date and time to play. The Main Event may have unique challenges, and all challenges completed during the main event will payout double. The Main Event will no longer have a predetermined central point of contact, and is therefor again at the ambition of the community to bring together online parties.

For the launch month of February, Warbuff and I have decided to start with a variety of four different titles, but we hope to expand to an average of six per month, contingent upon initial response and expansion of administrative staff. Each game will have it's own unique set of Challenges with varied payouts in the form of Tickets, varying in amounts from 1 to 10 depending on the relative difficulty of the associated Challenge. Now, earlier we alluded to there being a tangible worth to the payout for these Challenges, so before we get into the potential for lavish rewards let's cover the specifics of the payouts...


FragFest Tickets will only be paid out during the month a Challenge is highlighted for, and only after the submission of visual proof. That is to say, pics or it didn't happen.

All ticket payouts are contingent upon a few things;

  • To receive a payout a submission of proof must be entered. A photo/screenshot (some will require more than one) or video showcasing the conditions of the challenge being met. It doesn't have to be pretty, only legible. Camcorder, camera phone, PVR, use whatever means you have at your disposal to capture the moment of glory. Submissions must be posted to the public forum "FragFest Challenges" found within the main FragFest Group. Each Challenge will have a specific thread named identically to the Challenge itself. If media is posted on an external site and becomes unavailable for viewing at any point, members may be subject to revoked Ticket count for that Challenge.
  • Every Challenge issued will be active for one calendar month. General submissions for payout must be posted no later than 24 hours after the end of the month. Submissions for Main Event payout must be submitted no later than 24 hours after the end of that event.
  • All submissions are subject to approval by group moderators. Any submissions found to be fraudulent will be rejected, and the member given a single warning. A second offense will result in disqualification from future payouts and a permanent ban from the group.
  • Challenges can only be completed for payout once per member. However, if a challenge has been completed and paid out once before then completed an additional time during the "Main Event", that member can receive the effective difference upon approval.
  • Members can submit proof of completion on behalf of other players. Screenshots of multiplayer scoreboards for example, need only be submitted by one player from the group.
  • Members are limited to a maximum of 30 tickets per month.

So you've earned yourself a few Tickets? Well done! I suppose you're wondering what you're actually supposed to do with them right? Tickets by themselves are much like Gamerscore, effectively worthless but easy to keep count of. However, for every 10 tickets you earn yourself in a calendar year you earn a Token...


FragFest Tokens are used as entries into prize drawings, and can be used or stockpiled at your discretion.

Now that we've got most of the rules out of the way; Let's talk about loot...

First and foremost I need to make a few things clear. GIO FragFest 2012 is an initiative I, eyros2k, have drafted entirely on my own. At this point in time I have no sponsorships, no partners and make no money through any connection to this community project.

Second, I want to disclose my intent to use this platform as a means to make the FragFest Group self-sustaining. The ultimate goal for this initiative is to greatly expand the administrative staff behind FragFest, so that the support of this framework can carry on beyond 2012 through strength in numbers rather than the will of an individual.

With all that said, surely everyone will understand that the scheduling of regular prize drawings, as well as the choosing and distribution of prizes are subject to change... but here is my initial game plan.


 

You'll see below here that the framework regarding prizes, challenges and everything related. Fine details had yet to be completely hashed out, but some titles were chosen, or at the least considered, with a handful of challenge examples drafted. Scheduling for multiple months ahead was entirely for the benefit of those who might take on admin positions within the group, and is always subject to change.

Prize details

Drawings held every 3 months; 3 prizes around 20$ worth?

End of the year drawing; Collectors edition of a holiday title?

February titles and challenge examples, needs work

Main Event - Battlefield 3 challenges mostly cooperative, some competitive: "Severance: Collect another GIO member's dogtags. 1 Ticket" "Overwatch: Watch a fellow GIO member knife an enemy through a sniper scope. 2 Tickets" "Us V Them: While in a vehicle with 1 or more other GIO members, destroy an enemy vehicle of the same type. 2 Tickets" "Army of Four: Attain Ace Squad with 3 other GIO members - 8 Tickets"

Assassins Creed Revelations: "Sneaking Suspicion: Earn an Incognito bonus against another GIO member, 2 Tickets" "Heightened Reflexes: Escape an assassination attempt from another GIO member by stunning your would-be assailant. 2 Tickets" "Thick as Thieves: Win a team gameplay mode with at least 1 other GIO member. 1 Ticket" "Mentor:  

Syndicate Demo: "Corporatation Pawn: Play the demo with at least 1 other GIO member. 1 Ticket per member, max of 3"

Twisted Metal Demo: "Asphalt Assassin: Play the demo with at least 1 other GIO member. 1 Ticket per member, max of 3"

March potentials

Main Event - Halo Reach Community Forge Maps

Halo Anniversary

Rock Band series

Gotham City Imposters

April potentials

Main Event - Mass Effect 3 Cooperative

Call of Duty series

Forza series

Guitar Hero series

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